Germany as an Eastern European vs a low-tax country?

36 posts in this topic

I know many American/British expats abroad teach English. Others work in/for the US army or in expat-related businesses. But I'll be honest, I'm an Eastern European so my experience has been that its easier to find a white collar job in low-tax, outsourcing-friendly places like Greece, Portugal, Czech Republic etc. Places like the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and France have the same problem - the only jobs available to Eastern European expats (even those knowing the local languages) are menial jobs with poor pay and rights. Look at the many Turks working in/owning kebab places. Many of them work 10 to 12 hours per day. How's one expected to have time and energy to study the local language and absorb the culture? When their work shifts end they're exhausted.

 

Meanwhile, due to lower corporate taxes, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, etc. are so easy to get an office job in (in multinationals). There are even office jobs with languages like Greek, Hungarian and Bulgarian in Prague! The Bulgarian and Polish expats in Bratislava and Lisbon all worked in office jobs, 9 to 5 or just 40 hr per week. Quite enough time to sign up for language classes in the local tongue. In Germany and the UK they do hard, long day jobs like building, cleaning and plumbing. Or looking after old people or infants. Exhausting jobs that leave little time to learn the local language. Even if you already know it many of them have uni degrees yet, sweep floors at  McD.

 

So if you're Eastern European like would you rather find a corporate job in a multinational in Pilsen in Czechia and just visit nearby Bavarian cities on weekends? Or rather go to Germany. I fell in love with both the Nuremberg/Amberg/Frankonia/Oberpf. area and Pilsen. But after I looked what jobs are available locally on the German side I'm not sure learning German would give me any benefit if it would qualify me for the same menial jobs like cleaning or delivery driver? When it comes to Western Europe I have better chance finding white collar jobs in Lisbon.

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5 minutes ago, bytex said:

Look at the many Turks working in/owning kebab places. Many of them work 10 to 12 hours per day. How's one expected to have time and energy to study the local language and absorb the culture? When their work shifts end they're exhausted.

 

Do you really think that all Turkish people in Germany don't speak German??? Do you really think that they all work in kebap shops? The same with Eastern Europeans, etc. 

 

If that is what is stopping you from coming here, learn German first.

 

This board is full of expats who came here without German and have been very successful.

 

Many fall in love with Germany as you have and do what it takes to live here.

 

Maybe you simply don't belong here. We have enough racists already.

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^Yes, but most of the well-integrated Turks have been there since generations. How many first-generation non-Western European expats in Germany work in offices 9-to-5 instead of long, 10-12 hr shifts? I bet less than the expats in Bratislava. And in Prague I had wonderful co-workers from Egypt. Working 9 to 5 without even knowing Czech yet. Were they to go to Berlin with no German they'd have been delegated to menial jobs at best.

 

Can I just secure an office job like that in Germany without even a word of German? I got a job in Czechia just with Bulgarian and English. No Czech needed! My Turkish friend went back to Bratislava because there she works in a university with English and NO Slovak skills. In Germany she liked the people but over there she couldn't land a place in a university without German!

 

Prague, Lisbon, Athens, those places are brimming with young expats from Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland working office jobs. Meanwhile a Bulgarian co-worker with a uni degree and great German used to work as a delivery driver in Germany.

Many wealthy countries like the UK and Germany seem to regard us as second-rate people for those low-paid/long-hour jobs. The only exceptions seem to be programmers, engineers, nurses and doctors. All the others (econ/business degrees) face better chances finding white-collar jobs in Portugal, Greece, Czechia.

As for the people in the forum most are Western/Australian expats and they have a totally different experience as most Germans/Western Europeans treat them quite differently. Still, Bavaria is fantastic looking but what's the point if I'm going to clean floors and see none of it, slaving for 12 hours daily? Even as a business owner Pilsen or Klatovy make more sense - close to both Nuremberg and Prague, lower corporate tax than in Bavaria, lower rents and transport fares. And you can always travel to Amberg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Regensburg etc.

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I don't get it. Why would you accept a job cleaning floors in the first place if you are so educated?

 

You make it sound like that is all every Ausländer does here. There are only so many floors.

 

I have a Polish friend who is educated but started out cleaning houses here. He now has his own cleaning company with many doctor practices as customers. He gets free botox ffs. He also takes his family on nice holidays every year.

 

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18 minutes ago, bytex said:

^Yes, but most of the well-integrated Turks have been there since generations. How many first-generation non-Western European expats in Germany work in offices 9-to-5 instead of long, 10-12 hr shifts? I bet less than the expats in Bratislava. And in Prague I had wonderful co-workers from Egypt. Working 9 to 5 without even knowing Czech yet. Were they to go to Berlin with no German they'd have been delegated to menial jobs at best.

 

Can I just secure an office job like that in Germany without even a word of German? I got a job in Czechia just with Bulgarian and English. No Czech needed! My Turkish friend went back to Bratislava because there she works in a university with English and NO Slovak skills. In Germany she liked the people but over there she couldn't land a place in a university without German!

 

Prague, Lisbon, Athens, those places are brimming with young expats from Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland working office jobs. Meanwhile a Bulgarian co-worker with a uni degree and great German used to work as a delivery driver in Germany.

Many wealthy countries like the UK and Germany seem to regard us as second-rate people for those low-paid/long-hour jobs. The only exceptions seem to be programmers, engineers, nurses and doctors. All the others (econ/business degrees) face better chances finding white-collar jobs in Portugal, Greece, Czechia.

As for the people in the forum most are Western/Australian expats and they have a totally different experience as most Germans/Western Europeans treat them quite differently. Still, Bavaria is fantastic looking but what's the point if I'm going to clean floors and see none of it, slaving for 12 hours daily? Even as a business owner Pilsen or Klatovy make more sense - close to both Nuremberg and Prague, lower corporate tax than in Bavaria, lower rents and transport fares. And you can always travel to Amberg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, Regensburg etc.

If you have qualification that are required in Germany you will get a job

 

We have turks working in my company, its a good well paid job with regular hours.

 

Many companies allow only English speaking to work for them, as long as you have the skills.

 

Munich university now has course in English, your friend could apply for one of those jobs.

 

Of course Munich area is a very nice place to live, so a lot of people go there, that pushes up rents. If you cannot get a job that pays well enough to live in or around  Munich, that's your fault not Munich fault.

 

What are your qualifications  ?

 

Sure it's the people without qualifications that are cleaning the floors, but that the same anywhere you go

 

Put your qualifications here, maybe somebody will offer you a job

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What a load of bollocks. I sat beside a Bulgarian with no German in my second last company in the Berlin office.

 

In the same company we had 2 Bulgarian colleagues in the Munich office.

 

Last job I sat between two Poles.

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1 hour ago, bytex said:

Many wealthy countries like the UK and Germany seem to regard us as second-rate people for those low-paid/long-hour jobs. The only exceptions seem to be programmers, engineers, nurses and doctors. All the others (econ/business degrees) face better chances finding white-collar jobs in Portugal, Greece, Czechia.

 

I actually don't think you're wrong.

 

35 minutes ago, yesterday said:

Many companies allow only English speaking to work for them, as long as you have the skills.

 

20 minutes ago, murphaph said:

What a load of bollocks. I sat beside a Bulgarian with no German in my second last company in the Berlin office.

 

In the same company we had 2 Bulgarian colleagues in the Munich office.

 

Last job I sat between two Poles.

 

How many Eastern European colleagues do the two of you have who are NOT in IT or engineering? Especially without fluent German? 

 

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If you have skills that are needed then you can maybe get a job without speaking German. However if there is a candidate there who does and can compete with you skills-wise, you will be at a disadvantage. Unless you bring something else to the table, you interview better, you will work for less pay etc.

 

You will have better chances looking and finding work if you can at least communicate a little in German. Look on it as a skill, over my time here my employment prospects went up once I could speak German as then I spoke two languages.  Suddenly you can work with two sets of clients, two sets of customers etc.

All depending on what industry you work in of course.

 

 

 

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@bytex is talking about wanting to work in a health related field, such as physical therapy.  I'm a retired therapist.  That's not an IT/programming/engineering profession.  Instead it involves working directly and intimately with people.  Language skills are paramount for such a field, wherever one is located.  In Germany I can see why one needs to be fluent in German. Turkish would help, or another language of a minority population, but English?  It doesn't compute IMO.  This is not the 🇺🇸, where fluency in Spanish helps.  It's 🇩🇪.

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16 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

@bytex is talking about wanting to work in a health related field, such as physical therapy.  I'm a retired therapist.  That's not an IT/programming/engineering job.  

 

Read his post again (or even just the part I quoted). He mentioned "programmers, engineers, nurses and doctors". I would include all health care professionals in that list (and health care requires a minimum of B2 German). Where is he saying he wants to work in health care? I understood that he has an economics/ business degree.

 

Could someone please point out where foreigners with economics/business degrees can find good white collar jobs that don't require German? 

 

Is it really so hard to believe that there are few opportunities university educated foreigners in non-technical / health fields in Germany? :wacko:

 

I guess being white really does have its privilege. <_<

 

 

This also not the first time that this topic has come up: 

 

https://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/topic/388451-sprachrassismus-at-work/?page=1

 

 

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35 minutes ago, engelchen said:

Read his post again (or even just the part I quoted). He mentioned "programmers, engineers, nurses and doctors". I would include all health care professionals in that list (and health care requires a minimum of B2 German). Where is he saying he wants to work in health care? I understood that he has an economics/ business degree.

He mentions in this thread that he wants to work in healthcare.  I agree that B2+ is necessary at a minimum to work in healthcare.

 

 

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40 minutes ago, BethAnnBitt said:

He mentions in this thread that he wants to work in healthcare.  I agree that B2+ is necessary at a minimum to work in healthcare.

 

 

 

I just answered his questions on healthcare occupations in his other thread.

 

This thread is about corporate jobs for business grads that don't require German.

 

I've met Eastern European immigrants in Canada who were able to get onto the corporate ladder with strong accents and less than perfect English. This does not seem to be a widely available option in Germany (granted the Mittelstand is the motor of the German economy and most Mittelstand companies operate in German).

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7 hours ago, engelchen said:

 

I've met Eastern European immigrants in Canada who were able to get onto the corporate ladder with strong accents and less than perfect English. This does not seem to be a widely available option in Germany (granted the Mittelstand is the motor of the German economy and most Mittelstand companies operate in German).

 

I think the difference here is that in Canada, everyone speaks English, so if someone joins a company whose English isn’t too good, they can cope with it. Here in Germany, that’s not the case, not everybody can speak English.  I work with 6 completely different companies, helping them with their business English.  Yes, everyone here learns English in school, but that’s not always effective. I learned Irish every day when I was in school, it was compulsory, but apart from a few basic phrases, I couldn’t put a sentence together now, so I get that not all Germans can speak English.

 

If a company here has 2 candidates, one with German, but the other with better qualifications, I expect most of the companies I work with, would pick the person who can speak German, because communication is vital and misunderstandings can lead to problems.

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I think the difference, too, in Canada, or its big city regions anyway is that:

 

 1. Unless it's maybe upper management (...and even then), the vast majority do not care a single bit if you have an accent, or make minor grammatical mistakes. Immigrants from the last 60 years are a huge portion of the population, and a lot of slack is cut. A fair number of Germans IME are completely unable/unwilling to mentally correct the mistakes of foreigners speaking German. I have (in my early days) been toyed with, people running with my mistake and basically mocking, rather than just making the mental correction (or even informing me without mockery -- which happens too and I can appreciate even if the timing is sometimes bad) and moving on. Make a mistake and you may get totally baffled face-scrunching. I do feel that's quite different in Canada, at least in the big cities where 75% of the population lives anyway.  

 

OK, such open hostility is not super common here in your average genteel office place, and it decreases in proportion to the quality of your German (especially when you are not a POC), and it's not as if you can't encounter xenophobes in Canada or etc either. But for sure "Leitkultur" is a thing here.

 

Mutual understanding is paramount, yes, but the difference is that Germany seems to expect all the adjustment from the immigrant. It's not a give and take, it's mostly take. Fine, that's how it is here, you have to accept it. But that's also why Germany doesn't really get first or second pick of the best and brightest immigrants "brain draining" their own countries... just look at us!! :P 
 

2. In Canada, any immigrant can, if they wish, fairly easily find compatriots, work together and work in their businesses -- in their own language. There are tens of thousands of (small?) firms whose daily back-office language is Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil, Tagalog, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Greek, Russian, etc. and no one cares so long as someone can answer the phone or emails in English (or French, depending where you are). I can see that being mostly limited to cleaning businesses, construction, and döner here in Germany.

 

Which all comes back to the point that, yes, knowing German is vital to a worthwhile career here. A point that has been made a zilion times in the forum, but there we are. Make of that as you will, @bytex

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I have a highly educated Bulgarian lady friend working in the pension department of Siemens. She knows several other Bulgarians working for Financial Services. She speaks German. Another Bulgarian acquaintance is working as a purchase manager at BMW. She also speaks German. An Ukrainian lady friend works for corporate finance in Siemens. She also speaks German. My Romanian colleague in IT conducts end-user training in German. I know that Allianz employs many Eastern Europeans. Their corporate language is English. 

 

BTW- multinationals like Siemens have outsourced accounting jobs to Ostrava, Czech Republic and Lisbon, Portugal, because it's cheaper. Many Germans lost jobs in this field. Two large pharmaceuticals do their entire accounting in Bukarest, Romania.

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5 hours ago, LukeSkywalker said:

I have a highly educated Bulgarian lady friend working in the pension department of Siemens. She knows several other Bulgarians working for Financial Services. She speaks German. Another Bulgarian acquaintance is working as a purchase manager at BMW. She also speaks German. An Ukrainian lady friend works for corporate finance in Siemens. She also speaks German. My Romanian colleague in IT conducts end-user training in German. I know that Allianz employs many Eastern Europeans. Their corporate language is English.

It's the bold that is my issue. Say FR, ES, IT are all easy to pick up esp after I have A2/B1 French but German requires quite a lot of effort. I find EN doesn't help much with learning it. Imagine having to learn 5+ languages if you want to work/live in 5+ countries in the next 5 years! With Portugal, Greece plus Eastern Europe you don't need to learn all of them. You could live for several months to a year in several countries and when you decide which one is the best match settle there and finally take local language classes. I could change several office jobs every year in Greece, Portugal, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania to experience them all if I so wish! It's almost like extended vacations while making money, similar to the digital nomad lifestyle. I know Germans do exceptions for IT guys, but I'm not one as I said, so I cannot experience it living there with just A1 German, just as a tourist. :)

 

Not trying to put Germany down, it's a fantastic place (IMO much better than more overrated Western countries) but it seems to not be welcoming enough considering its language is one of the most difficult in the EU! It's no Hungarian but it's much harder than English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, or even Dutch and French, that's for sure! Sure you'll say "learn the language before arrival!", but what if you find out you like the culture but don't click with the place and its not a good match? So many years/efforts and $$$ wasted on picking up a language you won't practice much ever with natives don't make sense. Also judging by the way French is taught here not sure its worth the money to study German in Bulgaria.

 

I found jobs in multinationals in Prague with my native Bulgarian & A2 French (+ corporate EN), no Czech required at all! I got things like food vouchers, multisport cards. I worked with locals, not just other expats. It was a great thing to get your foot in the door & experience a new place and culture (working 9 to 5 offered enough free time to enjoy the place). Landlords in Greece, Portugal, Czechia and other outsourcing haven countries are also less strict, so it's much easier and faster to rent a place, which is a very important thing. They only saw my work contract, they didn't care about me having credit scores, a local bank account or stuff. Once I even was the 4th guy renting a room under a contract with the name of the 1st tenant. As long as we paid on time the landlord didn't care. Also just one month rent + same amount as deposit, I've heard they ask for like 5 rents or sth crazy like that in Germany.

 

That said, Germany would work best if one marries/dates into it. Then you get a speaking partner and a reason to visit the place on extended stay. Without family or a gf in Germany, nor an IT degree/programming skills, and just A1 German, life there is next to unattainable if I want to work just 9 to 5 in an office. Pilsen seems like a great deal for someone like me that finds German too hard to learn so it's not sure it's wise to invest in it before going there, yet wants to be close to Bavaria. It's right next door, best of both worlds! I recommend you check it out, it's right in the heart of Europe. Germany, and even Austria are quite near for car/train travel. It's located just 89 km or about 55 miles from the Prague airport and 201 km or about 125 miles from the Nuremberg one.

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French is useful in some parts of Canada, some people can speak English but prefer not to.

 

Mittelstand firms may be relatively small and work mostly in German, but one of their main features exporting a lot. A person speaking perfect English or Polish or Bulgarian etc etc could be very useful to such a firm.

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Really, Quebec French is not much use outside Quebec!! 

It is tough learning languages, but important to choose a country to move to that relates to your skills and qualifications.

 

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I am moving to Pilsen guys.

 

Well, you Italy just reduced their taxes for white collars.

on 120k salary - you can get 105k in hand. Now, beat that. That too for 5 years.

 

Folks anyone for Milan here?

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